Co-operative Spirit Awards

Kerr Smith receives a Co-operative Spirit Award at the 2019 AGM.

Pictured here with (left to right: Michelle Christmann, Jennifer Woodhouse and Ove Hansen, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative).


The Co-operative Spirit awards recognizes and celebrates both individual and organizational commitment and contribution to the co-operative movement and to the social, environmental and economic well-being of the province.

Since their inception in 1999, close to 130 individuals and organizations have received a Spirit Award from the Ontario Co-operative Association. Read the full list of recipients, or view many of our past winners receiving their award on the Spirit Awards You Tube channel!


The awards are generally held every two years but nominations are always open. Nominators can be individuals or organizations (i.e., Ontario co-operatives, credit unions, caisses populaires, or sector organizations and their staff, board or volunteers) that are Members or Members of Member Organization (MOMO) of the Ontario Co-operative Association. Nominators can submit nominations in more than one category. Recipients are chosen by a selection panel, consisting of at least three individuals who are familiar with Ontario’s co-operative sector, and who are not OCA staff.

2021 Spirit Awards

Nominations for the 2021 Co-operative Spirit Awards are now open! We are looking to recognize one organization and one individual who has contributed to the co-operative movement in an impactful way, and especially during COVID-19.

The Spirit Awards will be presented and celebrated at the OCA Virtual Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

To make a nomination, or for more information on the nomination criteria and process, please review our Nomination Package and be sure to submit the complete Nomination Form and supporting documents to Jennifer at [email protected] by the August 13, 2021 deadline.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Ross at [email protected] or at 888.745.5521 x 22.

2019 Spirit Awards 

The 2019 Spirit Awards were presented at our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, October 15, at Springfield Golf & Country Club in Guelph ON.

Two individuals and one organization received an award this year:

  • Kerr Smith, Gay Lea Food Co-operative
  • Kelly Storie, La Siembra Co-operative
  • FirstOntario Credit Union

Learn more about them by veiwing the media release!

If you have any questions regarding the Co-operative Spirit Awards, please contact: Jennifer Ross at [email protected] or 519-763-8271 x 22.